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  1.    #1  
    While dietrichbohn was busy winning my treo, I was trying to shove linux down my computer's throat. All was going well, too, until it choked on my damn ethernet card (it's 3com for cryin' out loud!). So, during the 5 days of searching for drivers and suffering from VC withdrawal, I received an off-brand tv-tuner card and a dvd/cd-rw combo drive. That entailed too much hunting for drivers w/o a system to work with, so I installed Win98se on the 40GB hard drive I purchased. This raises an interesting question related to the piracy thread I thought I'd bring up amidst the "it's good to be sitting in front of my computer reading VC again" jazz. I purchased VPC for my mac. Needing an OS that could handle the features bestowed by my Christmas presents, I burned a copy of Win98se at work, uninstalled VPC from my mac, and used the cd key for VPC to unlock the version on my PC. Is it piracy (legally and/or morally)?

    Anyways, it's a pleasure to be here. You've been a lovely audience.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  2. #2  
    Legally? Yes. Simply because you burned a copy of Windows. It seems that that is a huge grey area and is considered illegal.

    Morally? Well, I'm supposed to say 'that depends on what you think'. But, since youi are asking me, I say no. You are only using one copy of windows, correct? And you paid for one copy of windows, correct? So in a roundabout way it is still OK.
  3. #3  
    It may not be legally wrong, as I mentioned that other thread (too lazy to link the specific post now). Just because Microsoft (or even George Washington or possibly the congress) says that doing a certain thing is illegal doesn't make it so. A thing is only definitely illegal after a the law/contract has stood up under judicial review and b somebody (i.e. you) has been successfully prosecuted and punished for it. I'm willing to bet that the hasn't been sufficient judicial review on using a diferent CD Key to unlock software--CD Keys are one of those things that MS would like you to think has the power of law but probably doesn't.

    Morally, well, we can go round and round. I suppose that I think you're pretty much in the clear until somebody at work starts using that cd you happened to burn. You could also argue that it's morally wrong in that you have contributed to the inflation of software prices...

    sigh, welcome back!

    p.s. my new years resolution this year is to drop microsoft like the bad habit it is. I may have to plumb your "I don't know linux but I have tried to install it" depths..
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    [...] p.s. my new years resolution this year is to drop microsoft like the bad habit it is. I may have to plumb your "I don't know linux but I have tried to install it" depths..
    What I don't understand is how software vendors have been so quick to come up with OS X software, but can't get friggin' Linux versions out. OS X has my two killer apps (Quicken and Palm Desktop) which have been the biggest hurdles preventing me from switching fulltime to Linux. If Apple would just port the damn OS to x86, that would be nice as well.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by Toby
    What I don't understand is how software vendors have been so quick to come up with OS X software, but can't get friggin' Linux versions out.
    Yep. our killer app here is Micrograde, a very nice grading software... but only available on mac and windows... I am still trying to figure out if will run under Wine....
  6. #6  
    What I don't understand is how software vendors have been so quick to come up with OS X software
    Huh? It's taken Adobe and Macromedia over 1 1/2 years to even announce their OSX apps.

    That said, OSX is a commercial product and is MUCH easier to support than Linux, which comes in so many flavors. In addition, a lot of die-hard Linux users are open-source advocates, lessening the appeal to market to that audience.

    You would think that a company, with some effort, could make a good *nix application that could easily be recompiled for OSX...kill two birds with one stone.

    Of course, that was what Java was supposed to be, right?

    I don't think Linux will ever be a consumer OS. It is burdened by too many cooks in the kitchen...there is no unified strategy for the UI and that, and only that, is what most consumers are looking for in an OS.

    OSX is the power of *nix, with the power of a refined, and directed user experience...it will succeed much better in the consumer market, and, therefore, vendors of consumer software will most likely pursue that market first.

    I've been struggling with Linux myself and whenever I attempt to accomplish something easy in Windows or MacOS (like switching monitor resolutions) I am looking at about an hours worth of research and trial and error in Linux. Ugh.

    I've recently gotten into BeOS a bit and am just saddened by the fact that it's future is so unknown. It's a great OS...hopefully it will be resurrected.

    If Apple would just port the damn OS to x86, that would be nice as well.
    Of course, they COULD...but never will.

    But, your prayers may be answered someday:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/winmac/

    As for your piracy issue, when you purchase MS software, you are not actually purchasing anything physical, you are just purchasing the rights to have a license to said piece of software (and the license usually grants you the right to install the software on one machine). If you bought the Win98 bundle of VPC, then you own a license for Win98, and that, of course, is what you used. The fact that you burned a CD isn't really relevant.

    From a moral standpoing, was it morally right for MS to release such a buggy pieces of software as Win98 was?
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by homer
    Huh? It's taken Adobe and Macromedia over 1 1/2 years to even announce their OSX apps.
    Sure, and Linux was around for quite a while before that. It was at least usable enough for me since '99.
    That said, OSX is a commercial product and is MUCH easier to support than Linux, which comes in so many flavors.
    It doesn't have to do with "so many flavors" or being a "commercial product" as much as it has to do with Apple's hardware control. X (as in X Windows) has been relatively stable for quite a while.
    In addition, a lot of die-hard Linux users are open-source advocates, lessening the appeal to market to that audience.
    *shrug* I couldn't care less about 'die-hard' open-source advocates. I'm not fond of zealotry in any guise.
    You would think that a company, with some effort, could make a good *nix application that could easily be recompiled for OSX...kill two birds with one stone.
    Exactly my point. I would think that a Linux or *BSD port should be relatively easy from/to OS X.
    Of course, that was what Java was supposed to be, right?
    Gah...have you ever used any Java based program of significant functionality. We've got a few here, and they're all dogs and memory/processor hogs.
    I don't think Linux will ever be a consumer OS. It is burdened by too many cooks in the kitchen...there is no unified strategy for the UI and that, and only that, is what most consumers are looking for in an OS.
    I don't think consumers could care less about 'unified strategies'. They just want something that works without having to dig into the internals. The Linux distributions available aren't there yet, but they're getting closer everytime I look.
    OSX is the power of *nix, with the power of a refined, and directed user experience...it will succeed much better in the consumer market, and, therefore, vendors of consumer software will most likely pursue that market first.
    *sigh* I suppose that's the most frustrating thing. If Apple's barrier to acceptable (to me) entry-level performance wasn't so high, I'd jump in a heartbeat. heh...my wife couldn't believe she heard me utter the words, "I think our next computer is going to be a Mac" last night.
    I've been struggling with Linux myself and whenever I attempt to accomplish something easy in Windows or MacOS (like switching monitor resolutions) I am looking at about an hours worth of research and trial and error in Linux. Ugh.
    I just pull up Matrox's resolution utility when I want to do that.
    I've recently gotten into BeOS a bit and am just saddened by the fact that it's future is so unknown. It's a great OS...hopefully it will be resurrected.
    heh...speaking of OSes which'll never make it in the consumer space.
    Of course, they COULD...but never will.
    Yes, Jobs is a ******* (note that I said _w_ould, though, since I know they _c_ould, but won't).
    But, your prayers may be answered someday:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/winmac/
    I'll be watching...
    From a moral standpoing, was it morally right for MS to release such a buggy pieces of software as Win98 was?
    I don't think the immorality (as if a non-existent thing such as a corporation would be related to morality) of it comes in releasing buggy software. I think it lies in not fixing the problems with the existing software, but rather making you upgrade to a new version to fix the problems in the previous one. OTOH, if people are stupid enough to go along with it...
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  8.    #8  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    p.s. my new years resolution this year is to drop microsoft like the bad habit it is. I may have to plumb your "I don't know linux but I have tried to install it" depths..
    I will be putting a linux partition on my hard drive and working on getting the drivers to work my equipment, along with the software to use it. I liked linux well enough on my previous pc and my mac, though I didn't use it enough to get proficient. I will be dropping Windows permanently when/if I can watch tv/dvd's, burn cd's, and play wizardry.
    OS X has my two killer apps (Quicken and Palm Desktop) which have been the biggest hurdles preventing me from switching fulltime to Linux.
    One of OS X's biggest draw was that it would appeal to *nix and mac users alike, possibly doubling its market share (were all *nix users to jump ship) - but increasing it drastically nonetheless. Once software is released for OS X, it isn't long before *nix gets it. I'll send you a beer if Palm Desktop isn't ported by June.
    *shrug* I couldn't care less about 'die-hard' open-source advocates. I'm not fond of zealotry in any guise.
    I'll pray for you.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by Toby
    It doesn't have to do with "so many flavors" or being a "commercial product" as much as it has to do with Apple's hardware control. X (as in X Windows) has been relatively stable for quite a while.
    But only on the hardware that XFree defines in their hardware compatibility list. Anything else and you're on your own until either you or someone else writes drivers for it. This also assumes that the drivers remain up to date from release to release (which hasn't always happened), or that your hardware hasn't been deemed too old by the XFree team and so isn't supported anymore. The same thing applies to the Linux kernel, which hasn't always supported all the hardware that's out there for the PC. How is this any different than what Apple does?


    I don't think consumers could care less about 'unified strategies'. They just want something that works without having to dig into the internals. The Linux distributions available aren't there yet, but they're getting closer everytime I look.
    You're right. Consumers only care if the stuff works for them.

    However, companies do care about 'unified strategies'. If you're developing an application for Linux, what desktop do you use? If you use Gnome, your software won't work under KDE (not to mention a dozen or so other window managers out there), which means you're only catering to a niche martket. You could hire more developers to support all the different interfaces, but then you have to charge much more for the product to cover your costs. Use the open source community to write ports, you say? Then how do you, as a company, make a profit? All this assumes, of course, that some open source developer doesn't decide to make a clone of your product and give his version away for free, thus cutting into your profit margins.

    Commercial products, by definition, have to make money for the company. If they don't, then the company won't make them. Period.


    Exactly my point. I would think that a Linux or *BSD port should be relatively easy from/to OS X.


    If you're talking about a text-based app, they can and have. Most of the GNU utilities (bash, Python, color ls, etc) have already been ported to Darwin , the underlying BSD-based Unix core. GUI based applications are a different matter. From what I've learned so far, I'd hate to try to port a GTK-based application to even a Carbon-based app. The API's and underlying technology are just too different.

    There is another solution, thanks to XonX. XonX is a rootless X server that runs in Aqua, so you can have all your favorite X apps running in your standard Aqua environment.
    It's gotta be weather balloons. It's always weather balloons. Big, fiery, exploding weather balloons.
    -- ComaVN (from Slashdot)
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by sowens
    But only on the hardware that XFree defines in their hardware compatibility list.
    Nope. Because...
    Anything else and you're on your own until either you or someone else writes drivers for it.
    In quite a few cases, the manufacturers of the hardware are doing just that. Creative Labs and Matrox have excellent Linux support IME.
    This also assumes that the drivers remain up to date from release to release (which hasn't always happened), or that your hardware hasn't been deemed too old by the XFree team and so isn't supported anymore.
    Again, this doesn't matter if _the_manufacturer_ is supporting it. Otherwise, you're in the same boat as in the Windows or Mac world. I'm not sure about Mac, but I know for a fact that Windows is far quicker to abandon support for products than X has been.
    The same thing applies to the Linux kernel, which hasn't always supported all the hardware that's out there for the PC. How is this any different than what Apple does?
    I never said it was much different. The key difference is that Apple dictates the hardware from the top down. With *nix, the more people that share the hardware that you do, the more likely you are to see it supported. It's a more market-based approach.
    You're right. Consumers only care if the stuff works for them.
    Yep, and that's what we were talking about.
    However, companies do care about 'unified strategies'.
    Not really much more than consumers. Companies care about the same thing on a larger scale. They want it to work, and be easy to use. If a 'unified strategy' gets them that, they'll use it. If a hodgepodge of easy solutions gets it for them, they'll use that. People are people, whether they're acting as individuals or as a group.
    If you're developing an application for Linux, what desktop do you use?
    You can use one of many or develop straight for X.
    If you use Gnome, your software won't work under KDE (not to mention a dozen or so other window managers out there), which means you're only catering to a niche martket. You could hire more developers to support all the different interfaces, but then you have to charge much more for the product to cover your costs.
    Have you used Linux much? You don't need to do any such thing. If you have the libraries installed, in most cases you can use KDE apps in Gnome, vice versa, or even use either in other Window Managers (I've used apps from both in XFCE).
    Use the open source community to write ports, you say?
    No, I didn't say that.
    Then how do you, as a company, make a profit?
    Same way that companies have always made a profit: make a product which people wish to buy and sell it at a reasonably profitable margin.
    All this assumes, of course, that some open source developer doesn't decide to make a clone of your product and give his version away for free, thus cutting into your profit margins.
    In case you haven't noticed, those are getting fewer and farther between. As in everything, people get what they pay for, and when people want support, they'll be willing to pay.
    Commercial products, by definition, have to make money for the company. If they don't, then the company won't make them. Period.
    Yes, I'm well aware of that. This is why Linux companies have either had to charge for services all along (support, etc.), they're starting to charge for their products, or they've gone out of business.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  11. #11  
    Exactly my point. I would think that a Linux or *BSD port should be relatively easy from/to OS X.
    Right. It should be...and, actually, I think it is. However, that still wouldn't be an OSX application, per se, in terms of taking full advantage of the OSX toolset.

    Gah...have you ever used any Java based program of significant functionality. We've got a few here, and they're all dogs and memory/processor hogs.
    The only desktop Java app that I've ever used that is remotely usable is Limewire. That said, I don't think Java ever got a fair shake. Apple supported it somewhat and MS has recently dropped it. Oh well.

    I don't think consumers could care less about 'unified strategies'. They just want something that works without having to dig into the internals. The Linux distributions available aren't there yet, but they're getting closer everytime I look.
    They don't care about unified strategies directly, but you need a unified strategy to make something "that works without having to dig into the internals". Are the linux distrubitions getting closer? Yes. I just don't think they'll ever be 'close enough' to compete in the same realm as Windows and MacOS. (And that realm being the consumer desktop OS market).

    I just pull up Matrox's resolution utility when I want to do that.
    Is that in Mandrake? I spent about 20 minutes in KDE looking for an app, but couldn't find one. Ended up going to the command line and running drakconfig, but I couldn't get that to work. After digging on the internet for about 20 minutes, I finally discovered that the config file I was modifiying wasn't being read and that I actually had to go and edit a different config file. Ugh.

    heh...speaking of OSes which'll never make it in the consumer space.
    Well, that's an example of simply not being able to compete with the big boys even when you have a superior product.

    OTOH, if people are stupid enough to go along with it...
    Sigh...mass consumerism at it's finest...

    Commercial products, by definition, have to make money for the company. If they don't, then the company won't make them. Period.
    Unless you are Microsoft, in which case a product doesn't necessarily need to make money, as long as it kills the competiton.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by homer
    [...] Is that in Mandrake? I spent about 20 minutes in KDE looking for an app, but couldn't find one. Ended up going to the command line and running drakconfig, but I couldn't get that to work. After digging on the internet for about 20 minutes, I finally discovered that the config file I was modifiying wasn't being read and that I actually had to go and edit a different config file. Ugh.
    [...]
    I tried Mandrake long ago and didn't have any luck with it. Caldera used to be my distro of choice and it's currently SuSE, but the distro wasn't relevant to it. It was an X-level utility that I downloaded from Matrox's site (I had a G400 and have a G450 currently). It was a GUI interface which modified the XF86Config file for you.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by Toby
    In quite a few cases, the manufacturers of the hardware are doing just that. Creative Labs and Matrox have excellent Linux support IME.
    As does ATI, now. This wasn't always the case. It took a long time before CL would support Linux drivers, and it wasn't until they realized they were losing sales (and hence profit) to those companies that did have Linux support (sometimes directly by the manufacturer, but usually by releasing the specs so that the community could write it's own drivers) that they started releasing drivers. Of course, these drivers only worked with the built-in Linux sound capability, and not with some of the better sound subsystems that were available at the time.


    Have you used Linux much?
    Can't tell you the exact number of years, but when I started the Linux kernel was around 0.7 (I think), SLS was the defacto distribution, Slackware was the up-and-comming distro, and either distro would fit on 40 floppies (in fact, that's the only way you could get them).


    You don't need to do any such thing. If you have the libraries installed, in most cases you can use KDE apps in Gnome, vice versa, or even use either in other Window Managers (I've used apps from both in XFCE).
    There are a number of ifs in there. If the user wants to keep all those libraries around. If the company tests the software in all those configurations. If the version of libraries on the user's system is the same as the ones the company tested with. If the user doesn't change the libraries either by updating over the net or installing another software package.....

    The Linux method of system control is great for techs who want to dig into the system and figure things out for themselves, but not for the average Joe who just wants to use a word processor. It's also not great for companies who need to have their software work on these systems, as they have to be able to support all these scenarios. In Apple's approach this isn't an issue since they control the hardware and core software.



    Same way that companies have always made a profit: make a product which people wish to buy and sell it at a reasonably profitable margin.
    But this becomes a problem when you have to support all these possible configurations. Yes, the company can charge for support to a certain extent, but there is still a certain amount of integration and reliability testing that must go on. This takes time and manpower. Now the company can pay for this in two ways: increase the cost of the product, or decrease their profit margin. Neither option is particularly appealing, as there must be some minimum profit margin and only a maximum cost that a user is willing to pay for the product, especially when there's always the possibility of someone coming along and writing good, free software that will do the same thing. This is exactly why you'll never see Photoshop on Linux. The GIMP does at least 95% of the same things at no cost to the user.

    Perhaps I have a skewed view of the Linux marketplace considering how long I've been in it. I hope so, otherwise I don't hold out much hope for any company trying to make a profit from writing Linux software.
    It's gotta be weather balloons. It's always weather balloons. Big, fiery, exploding weather balloons.
    -- ComaVN (from Slashdot)
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by sowens
    As does ATI, now. This wasn't always the case.
    Sure, but we are talking about now. We're not talking about 1991.
    It took a long time before CL would support Linux drivers, and it wasn't until they realized they were losing sales (and hence profit) to those companies that did have Linux support (sometimes directly by the manufacturer, but usually by releasing the specs so that the community could write it's own drivers) that they started releasing drivers. Of course, these drivers only worked with the built-in Linux sound capability, and not with some of the better sound subsystems that were available at the time.
    Ah, but Rome wasn't built in a day.
    Can't tell you the exact number of years, but when I started the Linux kernel was around 0.7 (I think), SLS was the defacto distribution, Slackware was the up-and-comming distro, and either distro would fit on 40 floppies (in fact, that's the only way you could get them).
    Then maybe that's the problem. You've been using it too long to be objective?
    There are a number of ifs in there.
    They're relatively small ifs comparitively.
    If the user wants to keep all those libraries around.
    In these days of $100 40GB drives I don't see anyone complaining about space (especially not in the Windows world where .dll hell can sometimes put dozens of copies of the same .dll on a system).
    If the company tests the software in all those configurations.
    Oh come now. How many Windows developers test their software on every possible configuration? They write to an API and test it on as many as economically feasible (which I'm sure is extremely small when compared to what's out there).
    If the version of libraries on the user's system is the same as the ones the company tested with. If the user doesn't change the libraries either by updating over the net or installing another software package.....
    This is no different than the Windows world. At least most Linux distros come with Package managers which will deal with those dependencies (better than Windows by far I might add).
    The Linux method of system control is great for techs who want to dig into the system and figure things out for themselves, but not for the average Joe who just wants to use a word processor. It's also not great for companies who need to have their software work on these systems, as they have to be able to support all these scenarios.
    Again, none of this is very much different from the Windows world at this point. I can't tell you how many people I know who have dug far more deeply into their system than they originally wanted simply because Windows wasn't working 'right'.
    In Apple's approach this isn't an issue since they control the hardware and core software.
    No argument there. I don't recall ever saying that Apple's model didn't have its advantages. AAMOF, the only disadvantage to Apples that I mentioned was price in comparison to some things that I can do on the x86 side. I also could have sworn that I was strongly considering overlooking that issue on my next computer purchase.
    But this becomes a problem when you have to support all these possible configurations. Yes, the company can charge for support to a certain extent, but there is still a certain amount of integration and reliability testing that must go on. This takes time and manpower. Now the company can pay for this in two ways: increase the cost of the product, or decrease their profit margin. Neither option is particularly appealing, as there must be some minimum profit margin and only a maximum cost that a user is willing to pay for the product, especially when there's always the possibility of someone coming along and writing good, free software that will do the same thing. This is exactly why you'll never see Photoshop on Linux. The GIMP does at least 95% of the same things at no cost to the user.
    Which suggests to me that there's no motivation for Photoshop on Linux. There's nothing even close to competing with Quicken yet (especially when considering the peripheral utility of Pocket Quicken). Of course, I don't ever expect to really see Quicken on Linux for one very key reason: IE. Nearly all of Quicken's online features are married to IE and I don't see them spending resources on either creating their own browser or licensing a Linux one.
    Perhaps I have a skewed view of the Linux marketplace considering how long I've been in it. I hope so, otherwise I don't hold out much hope for any company trying to make a profit from writing Linux software.
    I think there are profit making opportunities in many areas of Linux just as in any space. One just has to find them.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  15. #15  
    They're relatively small ifs comparitively.
    Actually, those are pretty big ifs. It's hard enough to support all the flavors of Windows and the conflicting libraries that Microsoft releases. Imagine trying to support a larger pool of configurations and library sets developed by a number of different companies. It would be a huge burden on the support of any product.

    As for Quicken, they have a tough time keeping software updated for the MacOS, I doubt they have any interest what-so-ever in Linux.

    I DO think Photoshop may have a market someday. The GIMP is another example of the problems with Linux...no unified strategy. The interface for the GIMP is just awful. I can do things in PS much faster than in the GIMP ever will let me do. It took me a half-day to get the GIMP on OSX. Most open-source software will never compete directly with commercial applications for that very reason alone.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  16.    #16  
    Toby
    Again, none of this is very much different from the Windows world at this point. I can't tell you how many people I know who have dug far more deeply into their system than they originally wanted simply because Windows wasn't working 'right'.
    To lend credence to your argument, the first thing I did to my windows installation was hack the hell out of the registry. The install took less than 30 minutes. Tweaking the system to make it stable (more or less) and functional is still going on.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  17.    #17  
    Originally posted by homer
    Actually, those are pretty big ifs. It's hard enough to support all the flavors of Windows and the conflicting libraries that Microsoft releases. Imagine trying to support a larger pool of configurations and library sets developed by a number of different companies. It would be a huge burden on the support of any product.
    Actually, they remain fairly small if's. There are more flavors of Windows than commonly used GUI's for linux (win95/win95+USB/win98/win98se/winnt/win200/win200pro/winxp/etc. vs. KDE/Gnome).

    As for Quicken, they have a tough time keeping software updated for the MacOS, I doubt they have any interest what-so-ever in Linux.
    Obviously. MS is using it applications to crutch its OS.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  18. #18  
    Actually, they remain fairly small if's. There are more flavors of Windows than commonly used GUI's for linux (win95/win95+USB/win98/win98se/winnt/win200/win200pro/winxp/etc. vs. KDE/Gnome).
    I guess I'm referring less to the GUI and more to the underlying release of the OS. Linux can be found in 30+ different distributions. Each with multiple versions and releases. Each distribution may use a slightly different set of configurators, default library sets, and default installations. Throw on top of that any number of independant GUI environments (and there are a lot more than just KDE and GNOME) and you have a support nightmare.

    To be fair, MS has a lot too. I think there were 4 versions of Win95 in all. But still, when compared with Linux, it is a much smaller pool of environments that one needs to support.

    Going slightly off topic, has there been any truly succesful Linux-based commercial consumer apps released? I know Corel was working on a Linux distro with accompanying products before Microsoft got their paws into them. I know that there are some server/enterprise applications out there.

    (A quick search turned up Corel Draw for Linux: http://www2.warehouse.com/product.as...VW73102&cat=pc )
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  19. #19  
    Originally posted by homer
    Actually, those are pretty big ifs.
    Compared to what? Certainly not Windows. Do you have any idea how many friggin' versions of msvcrt.dll there are in this world? I've got 11 copies with 9 different file dates and 5 different byte sizes on my Win2K machine alone. And this is the OS which MS claimed had better version control than previous ones.
    It's hard enough to support all the flavors of Windows and the conflicting libraries that Microsoft releases.
    It's actually harder IME than in Linux. As I said, at least Linux distros usually have a package manager to warn you if you need a newer version or whatnot. An old Win32 program will happily overwrite a current version with an outdated one which may crash other programs.
    Imagine trying to support a larger pool of configurations and library sets developed by a number of different companies. It would be a huge burden on the support of any product. [...]
    I still maintain that it doesn't seem to be any more of a burden than currently supporting Windows.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by homer
    I guess I'm referring less to the GUI and more to the underlying release of the OS.
    That still won't necessarily help your case.
    Linux can be found in 30+ different distributions. Each with multiple versions and releases.
    Do you know how many patches Microsoft has released for each of its OSes? It bundles them all into service packs so it's less noticeable, but there are still quite a few potential variables there if one didn't apply every patch.
    Each distribution may use a slightly different set of configurators, default library sets, and default installations.
    No different from Windows.
    Throw on top of that any number of independant GUI environments (and there are a lot more than just KDE and GNOME) and you have a support nightmare.
    You haven't experienced a support nightmate until you've tried to support varied Windows clients.
    To be fair, MS has a lot too. I think there were 4 versions of Win95 in all.
    Not including all of the various security and bug patches which introduced their own potential incompatibilities.
    But still, when compared with Linux, it is a much smaller pool of environments that one needs to support.
    Not IME, which is why I'm looking really hard at Linux for the office within the next year.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
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